Picture this: It’s NSOP, and you’re experiencing the indescribable feeling of total independence. I’m zigzagging my way through Carman when his name—we’ll call him Josh—comes up on my screen in the form of a Snapchat notification. Josh and I haven’t really talked in person before, but we have the God-given bond of living on the same floor; we are profoundly connected. Right? Right. Thus, before I know it, I’ve invited him back to my dorm and we are having a mediocre hookup. Both of us know the hookup is mediocre while it is happening. So once we get our clothes back on, we awkwardly hold conversation for a few minutes and then I send him on his way.
The next day, Josh realizes he’s forgotten something in my room. This is objectively bad, because it means we are going to have to do the unspeakable: see each other in broad daylight. After a few hours of sporadic half-hearted back-and-forth messages, I meet him in the hallway of our floor. He looks over his shoulder to make sure no one’s in hearing distance.
“So, are we good?” he asks.
“Yeah! We’re fine.” My voice reaches a new octave.
“Okay, cool. See you around.” We weirdly make out for a minute—big question mark there—and go our separate ways.
Since this weird series of interactions, Josh and I haven’t talked. But you know what we have done? We’ve seen each other in the elevator, the floor lounge, and the hallway. Multiple times. In every location. And every time, we play a fun game called “Should I Smile and Say ‘Hey’ or Pretend I’ve Literally Never Seen You Before?”
This brings me to my hot take: Floorcest is the enemy and should be avoided at all costs. Don’t get me wrong, I know hooking up with a floormate is convenient. There’s something to be said for having to walk less than 50 feet to get to a dick appointment—talk about accessibility. No elevator ride is required before or after the hookup, and so the mythological walk of shame is almost entirely eliminated. I also know that this experience is specific to me, and that there may be some lucky Columbians out there who’ve magically found a way to enjoy floorcest sans post-coital awkwardness. But I haven’t, and so I’d argue that convenience is far outweighed by said awkwardness. It’s the small things, really. If some people I know are in the floor lounge, but so is Josh, I’ll keep my head down and go back to my room instead of interacting with my beloved floormates. If he’s getting on an elevator, I’ll wait for the next one to avoid what I know will be a painstakingly dry conversation based on a feigned connection. These troubles are admittedly negligible, but that doesn’t mean they don’t throw my day just a bit off balance.
To avoid all of these floorcest-related woes, I encourage you, dear reader, to look beyond the breadth of your hallway. It just isn’t worth it. Instead, I say go for someone who lives on a different floor—or better yet, in a different building altogether. Sure, the increased commute might be a short-term inconvenience, especially if the weather isn’t spectacular or there’s alcohol involved. I can empathize with having to budget for a five-minute walk as opposed to a five-second one. But in the long-term, I feel confident you’ll thank me when you don’t constantly see your Josh in the elevator. Or in the lounge. Or in the hallway. Let your floor be your space—not somewhere you have to share with a dick appointment of the past.
The author is a first-year at Columbia College studying creative writing and political science. She’s, like, super excited to be writing for Spec, and enjoys being an Opinion associate editor. You can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.